Censure for a single garda over ‘rape tape’

The Garda Ombudsman has recommended that disciplinary proceedings be taken against a garda involved in the so-called rape tape controversy.

Censure for a single garda over ‘rape tape’

Another garda, a sergeant, will not face disciplinary sanction as he retired during the investigation.

It is up to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to decide whether to issue disciplinary proceedings against the serving garda.

The investigation was set up in Apr 2011 after allegations emerged that gardaí had made jokes about raping two females who had been arrested on Mar 31 at a protest against the Shell gas development in Mayo.

The men had been investigated for potential criminal offences, under misconduct in public office laws, after a pocket video camera seized from one of two arrested female demonstrators inadvertently recorded the sergeant joking about raping them.

The remarks were made public by one of the protesters, Jerrie Ann Sullivan, who was handed back the digital camera after her release. The second woman, believed to be a US citizen, did not wish to be named.

During the remarks about raping one of the women, Garda B was identified as having said: “I wouldn’t go that far yet, she was living down at that crusty camp. Fuck’s sake, you never know what you might get.”

The comments related to the Rossport Solidarity Camp and inferred the women may be carrying a disease of some sort.

Garda B was also heard to remark “we’ll get immigration fucking on her”, joking about the Garda National Immigration Bureau deporting her after another officer said she sounded like a “Yank or Canadian”.

The final report of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) repeated a finding in its interim report that there was “no criminal case to answer” by the gardaí under investigation.

The GSOC report said the garda sergeant exercised his right to silence when interviewed. The report said the four gardaí gave “full and frank accounts” and confirmed the word “rape” was used by the sergeant.

The report said no offence or disciplinary breach was conducted by three of the gardaí. It said a fourth garda did make jokes about deporting one of the women.

Based on the interviews, the report said GSOC was of the view that there “may be a disciplinary case to answer” regarding the sergeant and the fourth garda.

It said as the sergeant had retired he was no longer amenable to the disciplinary regulations.

A Garda spokesman said the commissioner would appoint a senior officer to examine the report and consider if disciplinary proceedings should be taken.

Ms Sullivan said the findings were unsurprising and predictable: “This is the same reason that people campaigning against Corrib have stopped making official complaints about gardaí.

“The narrow scope of the report does nothing to address the real reasons that gardaí felt free to talk flippantly about raping campaigners.”

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